There are many ways that you can plan for your future financial and health care decisions in case one day you are no longer able to make those decisions for yourself. Some excellent planning tools include:
- A Power of Attorney
- An Advance Directive
- A Representation Agreement
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives another person (or multiple people) the ability to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. The person who has been granted this power pursuant to a Power of Attorney is called an “attorney”. An attorney can, among other things, carry out your routine financial matters, such as banking and paying bills, or sign legal documents, such as land title transfers, on your behalf. A Power of Attorney can also be created so that it continues if you become mentally incapable of managing your affairs, allowing your attorney to carry out your legal and financial dealings if you are no longer legally able to.
What is an Advance Directive?
An advance directive (otherwise known as a living will) is a document that tells health care providers what treatment you would like to receive or not receive, if you are no longer able to inform them yourself in the future.
What is a Representation Agreement?
A Representation Agreement allows you to appoint a person (or multiple people) to make health and personal care decisions for you in the event that you are not able to make those decisions yourself. This can also include making decisions about what medical procedures you receive or do not receive.
There are two types of Representation Agreements, a Section 7 Agreement and a Section 9 Agreement:
- A Section 7 Agreement gives another person the power to make routine decisions about health care, personal care, and routine financial management.
- A Section 9 Agreement gives another person the power to make greater decisions about health care and personal care such as refusing consent to specific treatments and end-of-life decisions.
What is the Difference Between a Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement?
A person appointed as an attorney pursuant to a Power of Attorney can make financial and legal decisions on your behalf but not health-related decisions. A Representation Agreement, on the other hand, allows a person to make health-related decisions if you are not able to. We recommend obtaining both a Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement.
What If I Want to Make a Power of Attorney or Representation Agreement?
If you are considering making a Power of Attorney or Representation Agreement you should speak with an estate planning lawyer. Please feel free to contact us at 778-475-8444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.